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HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Seventeen-year-old Nicole Case stands in front of a Hanscom Aero Club Piper Warrior aircraft prior to take-off with her father on the flightline here July 13. The soon-to-be senior in high school recently received her pilot's license from the Aero Club, becoming the youngest member of the club to accomplish that. (Courtesy photo)
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Teen becomes Aero Club’s youngest

Posted 7/18/2013   Updated 7/18/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Mark Wyatt
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs


7/18/2013 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Most soon-to-be high school seniors are busy preparing for campus visits or having their senior portraits taken. Many are working part-time jobs saving money for school or driving to the beach to spend time with friends before going back to school in September. Very few are flying themselves to Maine for breakfast on Saturday mornings this summer.

Seventeen-year-old Nicole Case, who has only been driving a car for six months, earned her pilot's license from the Hanscom Aero Club Flight Training Center July 6. She in fact took her first solo flight before she was able to drive in a car alone.

The club's manager said it's unusual for someone this young to set-out and accomplish getting their pilot's license at such an early age.

"Nicole is the youngest Hanscom Aero Club pilot we have," said Steve Bates, 66th Force Support Squadron Aero Club manager. "She began last fall taking classes for three hours every Tuesday during ground school instruction and finished flight training, completed her solo flights and achieved the goal she set for herself."

Her father, Ed Case, an Aero Club member since 1997, inspired his daughter through their involvement with the Civil Air Patrol program to love flying at an early age.

"My father and I were involved in the Civil Air Patrol program here and I developed a passion for flying when I was very young," said Case who is preparing for her senior year at Nashua High School South in New Hampshire. "My dad has his license from the Aero Club and encouraged me to do the same."

Together they enjoy the ability to fly anywhere on Saturday mornings to have breakfast and enjoy the beauty of New England this time of year.

"My dad and I come down to Hanscom and rent a plane and go fly somewhere and have breakfast and then fly back," Case said.

The young pilot has become captivated with flying and says she "definitely" wants to fly professionally one day.

"My favorite part of flying is the take-off and landing," Case said. "During my solos it was fun taking off and landing."

After graduating from high school next summer, she hopes to pursue a position in the New Hampshire Air National Guard in Air Traffic Control and go to school full-time.

"I am scheduled to take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test next month in Maine," said Case. "After I complete that, I plan to attend school fulltime and pursue a degree that will allow me to commission in the Air National Guard and get selected for a pilot training position."

Last fall the then high school junior was required to complete 30 hours of ground school instruction, 60 hours of flight training, complete 10 hours of solo flight, including 3 cross-country flights, and pass a written exam and an oral exam at the Aero Club before being issued her license.

"Nicole is a smart young pilot who will enjoy a lot of success in her future with it," said Bates.

Now she's working on adding her friends to the list of people she is able to take with her on a flight so they can maybe fly to a beach somewhere or visit a campus before heading back to school later this summer.



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